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TWO CONVENTIONS AND THEIB RESULTS
The Republican National Convention of 1884 was the occasion of Mark Hanna's first plunge into the deeper waters of national politics. He was a delegate to that Convention, and the way in which his election was secured reveals the effect of the personal relations which he had already formed in politics. After being defeated by his enemies he was at the last moment saved by his friends. If he had not been saved by his friends and had failed to attend the Convention as delegate, his whole subsequent political career might have been different.
In the spring of 1884 Mr. Hanna offered himself to the Republicans of Cleveland as a candidate for delegate to the National Convention. There were two delegates to be elected, and there were besides himself two candidates in the field. One of them was his redoubtable opponent, Mr. Edwin Cowles of the Leader, who needed no other motive for coveting the honor than a desire to prevent Mr. Hanna from winning it. The other was Mr. A. C. Hord, who was put up as the particular candidate of the young Republicans of Cleveland. The young Republicans proved the quality of their youth by triumphantly naming Mr. Hord as the first delegate to the Convention. There remained a second seat to be divided between the two other candidates. The contest was bitter, because the rivalry between the two newspapers, as well as lively personal feelings, were involved. But the Herald and its owner were always being beaten by the Leader and its owner. Mr. Cowles was elected by a considerable majority.
In relation to this contest, Mr. David H. Kimberley, of whom we shall hear more later, tells the following story. Mr. Kimberley owned a flour and feed store on the West Side in Cleveland, but he was more of a politician than a merchant. For years he had been a member of the Republican County Com mittee, and he had such a wide circle of political acquaintanceship that he was a useful canvasser. Early in the spring of 1884 he was summoned both by Mr. Cowles and Mr. Hanna, each of whom wanted his help in getting elected delegate. As there were two delegates as well as two candidates, Mr. Kimberley saw no reason why he should not work for both men. He started out cheerfully to do so. Not long after Mr. Cowles again sent for him, and asked him if it were true that he was working for both candidates. Mr. Kimberley replied in the affirmative, and defended his action on the ground that inasmuch as two delegates were to be chosen, the interests of any two candidates were not mutually exclusive. Mr. Cowles did not agree with him. "You cannot serve two masters," he said; and added, "I understand you are a candidate for County Treasurer." Mr. Kimberley replied that he was. "Well!" he exclaimed, and his tone and manner showed Mr. Kimberley what to expect. Mr. Kimberley was placed in a difficult position. Both of the candidates controlled Republican newspapers, and he could not afford to incur the enmity of either. He went to Mr. Hanna and confided his troubles. "Go ahead and do what you can for Cowles," said Mr. Hanna, "and after he is out of the way do the best you can for me!" So Mr. Kimberley returned to the Leader office and assured Mr. Cowles that he would work for him and him alone until his election was secure. But Mr. Cowles was still suspicious and insisted that a reporter of the Leader be sent to the district convention from Mr. Kimberley's ward so that he could keep an eye on the proceedings. In Mr. Kimberley's opinion Mr. Hanna was too generous to force him to take sides in a personal quarrel and so to injure his political prospects.
The defeat which Mr. Hanna suffered in the local primaries was only the prelude to a greater victory. When the state Convention met in Cleveland his friends rallied to his support; and his services to the state organization stood him in good stead. He was assured that if he would be a candidate for delegate-at-large, he would obtain sufficient local and general support to secure his election. Apparently both Sylvester T. Everett, then a man of some political importance, and George W. Gardner had something to do with his candidacy and with his subsequent election. But he did not obtain the office without a spirited contest; and the opposition was led by his personal enemies in his own city. Something more, however, than personal motives were involved in the contest. Mark Hanna was known to favor the nomination of John Sherman as Republican candidate for the presidency. The Convention and the Ohio Republicans whom it represented were split between James G. Blaine and Sherman, so that it sent to Chicago a divided delegation. Mr. Hanna was supported by the delegates from Cincinnati and others favorable to Sherman. The delegates favorable to Blaine nearly all voted against him.
In the Convention of 1884 Mr. Hanna first came into practical political association with two men who in very different ways were to have a profound effect upon his subsequent life. Two of the delegates-at-large from Ohio were William McKinley, Jr., and James B. Foraker — both of them young men whose careers were very much in the ascendant. McKinley must have been already known to Mr. Hanna, because he was prominent in a part of the state adjacent to Cleveland, in which Mr. Hanna operated coal mines. Foraker hailed from Cincinnati and may not have been known to Mr. Hanna except by reputation. Nevertheless, when the Convention was over, it was Foraker rather than McKinley with whom Mr. Hanna had entered into more intimate relations.
A superficial reason for the intimacy which grew up between Mr. Foraker and Mr. Hanna after the Convention may be traced to their joint support of John Sherman's candidacy and McKinley's support of Blaine. But in all probability this difference of opinion did not cause any alienation between Mr. Hanna and Mr. McKinley. Sherman was the latter's second choice; and Sherman's name was presented to the Convention more as a public tribute to Ohio's greatest statesman than with any expectation of success. Sherman was much more seriously supported and made a much better showing in the Conventions of 1880 and of 1888 than in that of 1884. McKinley was rather for Blaine than against Sherman, and Foraker, as the event proved, was really about as much for Blaine as was McKinley.
The delegation from Ohio was divided almost in half. Twentytwo out of the forty-six delegates voted for General Powell Clayton, the Blaine candidate for chairman. On the first ballot twenty-one votes from Ohio went to Mr. Blaine against twenty-five for her "favorite son." Mr. Sherman's name attracted only five additional supporters from all the rest of the country. Subsequently he did even worse. The division in the delegation from his own state made the support of Sherman look Platonic. The opponents of Mr. Blaine made frantic efforts to concentrate all the "dark horse" and "favorite son" delegates on any available candidate, including Mr. Sherman, but all to no effect. Blaine was unquestionably the choice of a majority of the Republican voters and would have been nominated on the first ballot, had not President Arthur been able to concentrate all the Southern delegates on himself. As it was, the supporters of most of the "favorite sons" were merely waiting for a good chance to board the Blaine triumphal car.
Certain of the supporters of Mr. Sherman in Ohio were assuredly practising in their own minds a spectacular yielding to the magnetism of Mr. Blaine's personality. Mr. Foraker made the speech, placing John Sherman's name before the Convention; but in this very utterance one may discern verbal vistas looking toward a victorious waving plume. After the third ballot the magnetic attraction proved to be irresistible. Mr. Foraker made a sudden but apparently premature and unsuccessful attempt to carry the Convention by acclamation for Blaine. The nomination nevertheless went to Mr. Blaine on the fourth ballot — chiefly because Illinois and the entire delegation from Ohio rallied to his name.
Probably the result was not much more of a disappointment to Mr. Hanna than it was to Mr. Foraker; but he was none the less earnest in his advocacy of John Sherman's nomination. It represented on his part a genuine and a positive choice. He did not favor Sherman because he objected seriously to the nomination of Blaine. The reasons which made Mr. Blaine so obnoxious to the independents carried little weight with Mr. Hanna; and there was much about Mr. Blaine's personality and career which might well have had a strong attraction for a man of his wilful and adventurous disposition. On the other hand Mr. Sherman's personality was distinctly and notoriously deficient in warm and sympathetic qualities. If Mr. Hanna favored and continued to favor John Sherman as the Republican nominee for the presidency, he must have been and was acting in obedience to unusually strong instinctive preferences.
Mark Hanna favored John Sherman's nomination because of two reasons very different one from the other, but closely associated in his mind. In the first place Mr. Sherman lived in Ohio and at this time Mr. Hanna was not likely to be interested in any candidate who lived anywhere else. His anchorage in politics as in business was local and personal. Distant stars, like Mr. Blaine, no matter how luminous, did not fascinate him. He could not bestow his allegiance on any leader with whom he was not by way of being personally intimate; and he could not support such a leader for the presidency unless the latter's public career aroused his warm approval. For the presidency as an office he had an almost superstitious respect. For Mr. Sherman as a statesman he had an unequivocal admiration. As a business man he understood how much Mr. Sherman had contributed towards the adoption by the government and the carrying out of a sound financial policy, and how valuable the service was. No man in the country was better equipped for the presidential office by varied and prolonged legislative and administrative experience, and no man was better entitled to it on the record of his public life. That Ohio should possess a statesman eminently qualified for the presidency but denied as yet the opportunity of being a candidate was more than unfortunate; it was unjust. His national patriotism and his local pride were both aroused by the project of placing so eminent a man in so high an office. Thereafter the idea fermented in his mind.
In Mr. Hanna's life one step along a line of natural selfexpression always led to another. His attendance at the Convention of 1884 sharpened his relish for politics and resulted directly in the formation of new personal political ties. He entered immediately into very close relations with Mr. James B. Foraker. In 1884 Mr. Foraker was considered to be the ablest and most promising of the younger Repub